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Author doerwalter
Recipients anthonypjshaw, atalaba, doerwalter, ezio.melotti, iritkatriel, lemburg, serhiy.storchaka, vstinner
Date 2021-09-29.15:17:06
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Message-id <>
The original specification (PEP 293) required that an error handler called for encoding *must* return a replacement string (not bytes). This returned string must then be encoded again. Only if this fails an exception must be raised.

Returning bytes from the encoding error handler is an extension specified by PEP 383:

> The error handler interface is extended to allow the encode error handler to return byte strings immediately, in addition to returning Unicode strings which then get encoded again (also see the discussion below).

So for 3. in Serhiy's problem list

> 3. Incorrect exception can be raised if the error handler returns invalid string/bytes: a non-ASCII string or a bytes object consisting of not a whole number of units.

I get:

🐚 ~/ ❯ python
Python 3.9.7 (default, Sep  3 2021, 12:37:55)
[Clang 12.0.5 (clang-1205.0.22.9)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> def bad(exc):
...  return ('\udbc0', exc.start)
>>> import codecs
>>> codecs.register_error('bad', bad)
>>> '\udbc0'.encode('utf-16', 'bad')
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>

I would have expected an exception message that basically looks like the one I'd get, if I had used the strict error handler.

But otherwise returning a replacement that is unencodable is allowed and should raise an exception (which happens here, but with a missing exception message). (Returning something unencodable might make sense when the error handler is able to create replacement characters for some unencodable input, but not for other, but of course the error handler can always raise an exception directly).

Returning invalid bytes is not an issue, they simply get written to the output. That's exactly the use case of PEP 383: The bytes couldn't be decoded in the specified encoding, so they are "invalid", but the surrogateescape error handler encodes them back to the same "invalid" bytes. So the error handler is allowed to output bytes that can't be decoded again with the same encoding.

Returning a restart position outside the valid range of the length of the original string should raise an IndexError according to PEP 293:

> If the callback does not raise an exception (either the one passed in, or a different one), it must return a tuple: `(replacement, newpos)`
> `replacement` is a unicode object that the encoder will encode and emit instead of the unencodable `object[start:end]` part, `newpos` specifies
> a new position within object, where (after encoding the replacement) the encoder will continue encoding.
> Negative values for `newpos` are treated as being relative to end of object. If `newpos` is out of bounds the encoder will raise an `IndexError`.

Of course we could retroactively reinterpret "out of bounds" as outside of `range(exc.start + 1, len(object))`, instead of outside `range(0, len(object))`. An error handler that never advances is broken anyway. But we can't detect "never".

However it would probably be OK to reject pathological error handlers (i.e. those that don't advance (i.e. return at least `exc.start + 1` as the restart position)). But I'm not sure how that's different from an error handler that skips ahead much farther (i.e. returns something like `(exc.start+len(object))//2` or `max(exc.start+1, len(object)-10)`): The returned restart position leads to a certain expectation of how many bytes the encoder might have to output until everything is encoded and must adjust accordingly.
Date User Action Args
2021-09-29 15:17:06doerwaltersetrecipients: + doerwalter, lemburg, vstinner, ezio.melotti, serhiy.storchaka, anthonypjshaw, atalaba, iritkatriel
2021-09-29 15:17:06doerwaltersetmessageid: <>
2021-09-29 15:17:06doerwalterlinkissue36819 messages
2021-09-29 15:17:06doerwaltercreate